Over 130 organic produce growers, processors keen on EDB funding

Monday, 27 July 2020 00:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Charumini de Silva

Over 130 organic produce growers and processors have expressed keenness to get funding from EDB to enhance or venture into exports.

The response follows the Export Development Board announcing financial assistance for growers and processors to obtain certification as per the Sri Lanka Standard (SLS) for organic agriculture products and processing SLS 1324:2018.“Growers and processors willing to follow organic agriculture and processing practices in rice, fruits, vegetables, cashew, herbs, pulses, spices, coconut kernel-based products, and green leaves have applied for assistance,” according to EDB sources. EDB will provide financial assistance for the growers or processors to cover the cost of organic inspection and certification and lab testing related to organic certification as per SLS 1324:2018.

The objective of the program include: promote the National Organic Standard (SLS 1324:2018) among small farmers; streamline production, handling, processing and labelling of organically grown agriculture products to meet a consistent standard; encourage conventional farmers transform into organic cultivation and increase the production volumes and income; establish transparency throughout the supply/value chains from farm to market; upgrade the farmers to obtain international certification in future to meet export demand; and obtain the mutual recognition with organic standards in export destination.

EDB plans to evaluate all the applications within a week and short-list those most qualified for funding.